Raptors discuss boycotting Game 1 of playoff series over Jacob Blake shooting
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The Toronto Raptors considered bowing out of the first game of a playoff series against the Boston Celtics during a team meeting on Tuesday in response to the police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Wisconsin as protests erupted in the state.

ESPN reported that was among the options discussed by the team, which would have canceled a night of basketball for thousands of fans as a response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Kenosha, Wis., man who was shot multiple times by police as he was getting into his car. Blake was unarmed.

The Boston Celtics held a similar meeting to discuss a response to the shooting, ESPN reported, but the idea of not playing the game, which is scheduled for Thursday, was not brought up.


Raptors guard Fred VanVleet told ESPN that players were searching for a way to put pressure on people in power to make change in response to Blake's shooting, which follows the deaths of other Black Americans such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of police that have spurred nationwide protests in recent months.

"We knew coming here or not coming here wasn't going to stop anything, but I think, ultimately, playing or not playing, it puts pressure on somebody," VanVleet said after Tuesday's practice, ESPN reported.

"So, for example, this happened in Kenosha, Wis., if I'm correct? You know, would it be nice if in a perfect world we all say we're not playing, and the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, you know, that's going to trickle down if he steps up to the plate and puts pressure on the district attorney's office and state's attorneys and governors and politicians there to make real change and get some justice," he continued.

Blake is reportedly paralyzed from the waist down following the shooting, which occurred Sunday night. Protests immediately erupted in the state in response.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony EversTony EversWisconsin Gov. rips Sidney Powell's lawsuit filled with factual errors in court filing Wisconsin passes law requiring schools teach students about Holocaust and other genocides First lady announces virtual guests for Biden's address to Congress MORE (D) issued a call for justice on his Twitter account.